Friday Favorites: The Last Week of October

We had a pretty good week.  I have found that with this hybrid schooling there are always up and downs and little bumps in the road but for the most we just try to roll with them.  We got to eat out twice in one week which is pretty unheard of for us unless we're on vacation.  We also finished up just about all our evening activities so starting next week we should have more relaxing evenings at home together and I just can't wait!


 

I once again spent a restless night losing sleep over Alec's schoolwork and grades so I was really dragging Friday morning.  I keep trying to assure Alec he can only do his best and he (we!) have to let it go but I am so much better at preaching. 

Luckily he only had a half-day of school on Friday and  he was IN the building!  I offered to take all three boys out to lunch once schooling was over for the day. Alec came home in a great mood too; after talking with another classmate and finding out they have ALL the exact same grades for all the same reasons he feels better (and now wants to look into honors classes like she just moved into)!



We spent a quiet afternoon at home and for dinner I whipped up some homemade pizzas to go with our salad and we spent our evening watching a few new episodes of the Goldbergs. 


Ian headed off to work with his grandfather on Saturday morning and my husband was heading out to work too.  It was a beautiful day on the lake!


Alec, Evan, and I cleaned the whole upstairs while they were gone.  My husband has been doing a great job stepping up and taking over all my jobs while I was on the mend but cleaning had been sorely lacking and it felt great to have half the house sparkling clean.  

After lunch Alec, Evan and I also worked together to mix up some Chex mix and a new caramel/chocolate popcorn recipe.  Both were big hits with the family. 






I experimented with a new crock- pot recipe making beef stroganoff for dinner.  I set the stew beef in a crock pot with diced onions and mushrooms and enough beef broth to cover them then let it simmer on low all day.  Just before serving I stirred in a container of sour cream.  To thicken up the sauce I slowly added some of the hot broth to a measuring cup of flour until I had a creamy paste and then mixed it all back into the crock pot.  We cooked up some egg noodles to serve it over and we had meal that EVERYONE ate (without complaint)!  That so rarely happens.  


Ian was working again on Sunday and my husband went to work on fixing his Ranger (after getting it stuck in the mud a month or so ago we discovered quite a few problems with it).  The younger boys went out to breakfast with their grandmother so I had the house to myself for a bit.

Once they were home we worked together to clean the downstairs. After lunch my husband and I headed out on a short Ranger ride.  Neither one of us was all that certain I should be going but I felt fine when we returned.  In fact I sat with Alec for a bit and we went over some of his math.   



My husband got a fire going in the fireplace in the afternoon and I sat nearby reading finishing up my latest novel-- Troubles in Paradise and starting in on On Ocean Boulevard. 


For dinner we had grilled chicken, squash, roasted potatoes and salad. 

Alec was back to virtual schooling on Monday.  Before school started he quickly whipped up some banana bread while I put together our sausage/tortellini soup in the crock pot.  

I had pulled out work for the other two boys and we settled in to school as soon as breakfast was over.  Alec had a bit of trouble getting the sound to work on his computer and we had to shut down and restart his computer causing him to miss just a bit of his Language Arts class; thankfully his teacher understood and got him caught up on what they were doing.  


After the boys were all done school we all ended up going for a walk to the state park.  Once we got home we played a rousing game of Tellestrations. 



After dinner Ian and my husband went to work on Ian's four wheeler while Evan and I watched Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. 

Ian headed off to work on Tuesday and Alec settled in for another day of virtual lessons while Evan and I worked on a bit of schoolwork at the kitchen table.  The day went pretty good; Evan and I worked on a new science experiment and a haiku poem about fall.  We went for a short walk to get the mail. 




We ended up meeting my husband and Ian at the Pub 99 for dinner just before Ian's driver's ed. class.  We had a nice dinner out together. 



Alec was headed into school on Wednesday to take the PSAT's (is it normal for new Freshman to take them now?? I thought this was odd).  After I dropped him off I worked on schoolwork with Ian and Evan.  We got our work done rather quickly.  It rained all day so once the schoolwork was done we spent a quiet day at home puttering around. 




I ran a few errands before picking Alec up from school and then we swung by and visited with my mom for a bit.  

We got an e-mail from the school-- after our inquiry earlier this week Alec has been moved into ALL HONORS CLASSES!! He is so thrilled.  It won't go into effect until they officially close out this marking period in two weeks but then he'll get new classes and a new schedule.  I'm nervous about the change but can't help loving how much he is pushing himself to just do and be his absolute best even in these crazy times. 

After Alec's karate class we enjoyed a lovely pot roast, mashed potatoes, and steamed broccoli dinner.  I had put the pot roast in the crock pot early in the morning and made up mashed potatoes around lunch time then put them in a second crock pot to keep warm until we were ready to eat.  We watched a few episodes of the Mandalorian in preparation for the new season coming out this week. 




I tried watching the newest This is Us but ended up turning it off.  Anyone else a bit bummed that so much reality has made it's way into our shows?  I like to use my shows as a bit of an escape from real life and that is just not the case with shows coming out so far this fall. 


Thursday felt like a disaster as far as Alec's schooling went.  It was another virtual learning day but since teachers were proctoring exams for the 11th grade class there were no teachers to help.  He was marked absent and I had to call the school.  Several assignments were marked as being due yesterday even though he was in the building for testing and saw most of these teachers on Tuesday.  We were pretty confused most of the day on what to do for most of his classes and have absolutely no idea how he's going to be graded on these "missing" assignments.  

The one upside was he got to create his own art project for history class-- a personalized artifact that someone might stumble across years from now (like a cave painting) that would show a bit about his life. Of course he went with a baking theme! 





I rushed Evan through his work so I could help Alec; not that he needed much help with the actual assignments.  Evan is really loving his March books and keeps telling me that all schools should make them mandatory for middle school students to learn more about the civil rights movement. 


It was another rainy day and since we had already eaten all the snacks we made over the weekend I offered to whip up another batch of Chex Mix this time we made an Italian/parmesan cheese blend. 


Ian was gone to work all day and had his last driver's ed. class so it was just Evan, Alec, and I for dinner.  We heated up a chicken, broccoli, and rice casserole.  Then at 7 Alec and I logged onto the school's technology night to learn about using Google Classroom (a class that might have been more useful a few months ago but I'll take help wherever we can get it!).  We already know he'll only be in the building for two or maybe three days all next month. 

So all in all not a bad week at all!  How was your week?

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Comments

  1. We have had remote ups and downs too- hang in there! I wish I could move in to your house for a week and eat up all of the amazing treats that you and your sweet boys make- have a wonderful weekend!

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    1. We are definitely hanging in there; most of the days go really, really well and that helps weather those days that don't go so well.

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  2. My Dad and I have been preparing for the new season on the Mandolorian too!!! That popcorn looks amazing! Have a wonderful weekend!

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  3. I remember remote learning last year. That was a main reason I decided to home school Annabelle. Granted, I thought she would already be back to in person learning already, but we do what we can. You have made me want to make Matt's Grandma's Chex mix, so I may have to get the ingredients at the store today.

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    1. I'm kind of grateful that we haven't been in a school setting in 8 years because we really had no idea what to expect; which seems to help us adjust more than the kids who had real classroom expectations... does that make sense?

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  4. I'm glad you got to go out to eat a few times. It feels like such a treat these days to go to a restaurant. I feel for your son with the grade issues. Online learning makes it hard to know exactly where you stand with grades. And it gives teachers more to juggle to make sure they get the grades right. Hope it all works out ok! Have a wonderful weekend! Tanya - The Other Side of the Road

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    1. I'm sure in the end it will all work out just fine. He can't be doing as bad as he thought he was if all his teachers approved his moving to honors classes!

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  5. I have mixed feelings about this is us. But I am so excited about the Mandalorian tonight! I love how you roll with all life‘s ups and downs and I hope you have a beautiful weekend!

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    1. What else can you do?! I'm getting better at trying to let go of those things I can't control otherwise I'm just driving myself and my family nuts.

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  6. That popcorn looks amazing! My 9th grader is back to a hybrid schedule till Nov 16 with 2 days in class: he is glad for being able to sleep in but his teachers typically give a lot of work so he is going to have to manage his time. He is in honor classes and one AP. Hoping to go for a bike ride tomorrow after a 5K. My friend and I are planning to take it easy for the 5K though. Cold morning!
    www.chezmireillefashiontravelmom.com

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    1. We had snow today! SNOW! I can't remember the last time we had an October snowstorm.

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  7. I think Alec must be doing well when he got placed in honors classes! Sounds like things are mixed up at the school though. I felt like This Is Us was well done and appropriate. It's real because it's always been about real life - like they are us!

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    1. Yes, he is doing really well but each weekend he completely starts stressing over grades; I think knowing he got put into honors classes has actually helped him realize he is doing really well.

      I guess maybe I felt like This is Us isn't what my life is like. We don't/didn't distance from family and we only wear masks in public because it's required but we don't feel compelled to sanitize hands and disinfect ourselves when walking in the door. I felt like the kids stressing over catching Covid by touching their faces without their parents saying anything to try and reassure them at all was just a bit more on the fear mongering side... I don't know I just know I didn't want to finish watching it. At all.

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  8. The chex mix and caramel popcorn look delicious!!
    Wish my kids would get to go to school for a couple of day a week at least, but it's all online for them...PSAT's here in IL are usually in 10th grade. My daughter is a freshman this year as well and there was no talk about PSAT. Of course my son's SAT which he should have had in the spring has now been postponed to next spring...But by then college applications will already be sent off.

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    1. Yeah our seniors just took SAT's in Sept. because they missed them in the spring. But I do have family that work at our local state colleges and they've said that the colleges aren't really using them this year because none of the schools were open in the spring and that they might decide to do away with them altogether if they come up with a better solution.

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  9. Y'all are always whipping up so many good treats! I watched This is Us and LOVED it. It was definitely heavy since it's tackling so many big issues in the real world, but it ended up being one of my favorite episodes yet. If you plan to continue watching the series, you HAVE to go back and at least watch the last 15 minutes of the episode... Brian and I were SHOCKED... totally didn't see it coming, and what happened is going to play a very important role in shaping the rest of the series for one of the characters.

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    1. Maybe I'll fast forward to the end but I don't see myself watching it much this year.

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  10. We don't eat out often either, so that would have been a big treat! That sunrise picture on the lake is so pretty. What a beautiful view. I love the treats and projects you all got to work on this week. This Is Us really worked in all of the topics. I agree, there are shows I enjoy for their specific storylines and not the reality part of it. I did enjoy having is back on though. I hope you have a nice weekend!

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    1. I'm so happy to see so many shows returning! I was quickly running out of things to watch.

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  11. It looks like you are so busy with the boys. I like the crockpot meal and the treats sound great. Have a nice Friday and weekend.

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    1. I rely on my crock pot so much this time of year.

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  12. You always eat the best food and now I want to put stroganoff on our menu rotation again even though the kids hate it! I'm glad to hear that (maybe) virtual schooling is getting easier -- or at least everyone is in the same boat. And I love that rain on the lake picture -- amazing raindrops!!!

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    1. I'm not sure if it's easier or everyone is in the same boat but we sure were relieved to hear such positive feedback from his teachers!

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  13. Y'all are so cute with all that Chex mix and snack mix. I love the idea of both. And could easily eat my weight in them.

    Your photos are so lovely. I like the way the trees frame the view of the lake in one of the photos and the way they line the trail in the other photo.

    This post reminded me that I wound up putting my oldest daughter in all honors classes, too, at one point. She was in regular classes and none of the kids were doing anything, and none of the teachers were teaching anything. Even though her grades didn't merit the switch to honors, I insisted they put her in and it was a very decision. She rose to the occasion. Rather than sinking to the unmotivated level of the kids in reg ed, she began really trying to do well in honors. Hope Alec enjoys the challenge and his classmates and teachers.

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    1. He can not wait for the Honors classes to start. He is often waiting around for the other kids to finish up their work.

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  14. Isn't it a good feeling when the house has been cleaned. Love that your boys help you with it. Have a great weekend.

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    1. I wish the cleaned house lasted a bit longer but I do love that feeling of having a clean house.

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  15. So many lovely treats. Yum. I am sorry the remote issues are so hair raising. I hope it all works out. Congrats on the promotion to all honors. That is wonderful.
    Blessings, Dawn

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    1. I'm sure as we move through more and more of this (as remote learning will not be ending in our area anytime soon) we'll get more and more comfortable with it too.

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  16. We love Tellestrations! Such a fun game. My daughter is a freshman and we haven't heard anything about PSATs yet. Loving all the fall foliage pics and the tasty food! Have a great weekend!

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    1. I figured the PSATs were god practice but I warned him that high scores were unlikely as it was a test designed for older kids.

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